NOT THIS WEEKEND: A saturated Albert Park has delayed the start of the Gympie A Grade overall premiership final between minor premiers Wests and challengers Harlequins.
NOT THIS WEEKEND: A saturated Albert Park has delayed the start of the Gympie A Grade overall premiership final between minor premiers Wests and challengers Harlequins. Craig Warhurst

A-Grade final a washout

GYMPIE A-grade cricket sides Wests and Harlequins must wait another week before locking horns for the Cooloola Civil Constructions Cup after a drenched Albert Park was declared unfit for play yesterday.

Gympie Cricket Association president Bob Blackburn confirmed the decision around noon after receiving an update from Albert Park curator Russel Angove.

“I spoke with the groundsman this morning and the heavy rain from the last couple of days has made it impossible to play,” Blackburn said.

“It’s simply just too wet, and covering the wicket in the end made little difference.”

Scrapping the first two days of play of the four-day final will leave the final restricted to just next weekend.

Wests captain Neil McKean said to The Gympie Times after claiming the minor premiership they were prepared for whatever Harlequins, and the weather, threw at them.

“I think Harlequins have some self-doubt because the last time they won a premiership was about 30 years ago,” he said.

“I definitely think there is more pressure on them than there is on us.”

Harlequins had led the overall premiership race for an overwhelming portion of the season, only for Wests to swoop on them in the last few rounds and edge ahead.

Harlequins limited the damage, however, to put them in a position to strike back, only to have a washout deny them the opportunity.

Meanwhile, Wests have a recent history contesting the A-grade premiership final, with mixed results.

The side finished runners-up to Valleys last year and before that, finished the season as premiers.

“We’ve got a lot of old heads and experience counts for a lot in a final,” McKean said.

“It’s always different playing in a final, so the team benefits from having guys to settle things down.”

The Gympie Cricket Association is hoping predictions of further wet weather extending into next week do not wipe out the final entirely.

Succumbing to the heavens already this season was the one day cricket final earlier this year, when organisers begrudgingly called the clash off at the last minute.

Gympie Times


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